Tuesday, 11 October 2011

If a man is absent on the night of one of his wives with or without an excuse, he has to come back and make up that night


My husband travelled before the end of his three nights in my house (as we both agreed). Does he have to come back as soon as he returns to complete the remaining two nights, or can he choose where he wants to stay for the next three?.

Praise be to Allaah.

If the husband divides his time between his wives, spending
one night or two nights or three nights with each in turn, then it is the
right of each of his wives that he should stay overnight with her on the
nights that are allocated to her, because she is entitled to that. If
circumstances dictate that he should be absent on the night of one of his
wives completely or for a long time, such as if he is imprisoned or is
travelling or is getting married, then the right of the wife whose turn it
was is not waived; rather when he comes out of prison or returns from his
travel or the time allocated to the new wife ends, he has to go back to
the wife whose turn it was and stay overnight with her, or complete what
is left of her night. This is what is required to be just and fair. 

Al-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If he
allocated time to a wife then he went away then he returned, he should start
dividing his time with the one whose turn comes next. 

Similarly, if he is not travelling but he is distracted from
staying overnight with her, he should resume dividing his time as if he had
returned from being away, so he should start with the one whose turn it

And he said: 

If he was with her for part of the night, then he went away
then he came back, he should start by making up to her what is left of the
night, then he should go to the one whose turn comes next at the end of the
night, so that he is being fair to them with regard to dividing his time. 

Al-Umm (5/281). 

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

If he leaves one of his wives during her time, if that is
during the day or at the beginning or end of the night, when it is customary
to leave the home and go out to pray, that is permissible, because the
Muslims go out to pray ‘Isha’ and Fajr before dawn breaks, and with regard
to the day, it is the time when people go out and about to earn a living. 

But if he goes out at some other time and comes back quickly,
he does not have to make it up for her, because there is no benefit in
making that up. But if he stays out for a long time, he should make it up to
her, whether his staying out was for an excuse such as work or being
detained, or there was no excuse, because her rights were denied by his
being away from her. And if he wants to make up for that by staying away
from the other wife for as long as he stayed away from this one, that is
permissible, because equal treatment is attained by doing that, and because
it is permissible for him to stay away for a full night if he does the same
to each of his wives; so by analogy it is also acceptable with regard to
part of the night. 

Al-Mughni, 8/145 

Another issue with regard to the rights of the wife over the
husband, which supports what is mentioned above, is that if the husband
wants to travel and draws lots between his wives, and one wife’s name is
drawn, then she still has the right to her night after he comes back from
his journey, and the fact that he took her with him on his journey does not
mean that her right to her night or nights is waived. 

Shaykh al-Khateeb al-Sharbeeni al-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have
mercy on him) said: 

Al-Bulqayni said: If the name of the one whose turn it is is
drawn, her turn is not included in the period of travel; rather, when he
returns, he should still give her her right to a share of his time. In the
text of al-Umm there is that which confirms this. 

Mughni al-Muhtaaj, 3/258 

Shaykh Mansoor al-Bahooti al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on
him) said: 

The husband should still allocate the rightful share of his
time to the one he takes with him after choosing her by drawing lots, when
he returns from his journey and he should not regard the time spent
travelling as part of her share of his time, because of the hadeeth of
‘Aa’ishah quoted above, as she did not mention making up the time, and
because the one who travelled with him was the only one to undergo the
hardships of travel. 

Kashshaaf al-Qinaa‘, 5/201 

To sum up: 

When your husband comes back from his trip, he has to make up
the rest of your three nights, and thus he will attain the justice that
Allah has required of him. He does not have to start dividing his time anew,
because he still owes you some time that he has to make up for you. 

And Allah knows best.

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